New Delhi: As part of his three nations tour, Hon’ble Vice President of India (HPVI) Shri M Venkaiah Naidu arrived in Gabon on May 30 on his first ever high level bilateral official visit from 30 May – 1 June 2022. HVPI was accompanied by a high-level delegation including Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar and three Members of Parliament, Shri Sushil Kumar Modi (Rajya Sabha), Shri Vijay Pal Singh Tomar (Rajya Sabha) and Shri P. Ravindhranath (Lok Sabha). The visit signifies our commitment to engage closely with Africa. On his arrival, Vice President was warmly received by the Prime Minister of Gabon H.E. Ms. Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, and Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Michael Moussa-Adamo.
The main official engagement day was on May 31, during which HVPI called on President H.E. Mr. Ali Bongo Ondimba, who warmly received him at the Presidential Palace. Gabonese President fondly recalled his earlier visits to India in 2015 and 2018. Vice President had tete-a-tete with Gabon’s Prime Minister H.E. Ms. Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda followed by delegation level talks with PM and her cabinet colleagues during which the entire gamut of bilateral relations including regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest were reviewed. Both leaders had also discussed active economic engagement and identified new areas for cooperation, particularly in agriculture, green energy, mining, health and pharma, ICT, defence and maritime security. Both sides noted the need for cooperation in skill development/training and capacity building in key sectors. Earlier FM H.E. Michael Moussa-Adamo made a courtesy call on HVPI. Both sides signed two MoUs/Agreements: (i) MoU for cooperation between India’s SSIFS and Gabon’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and (ii) An agreement for establishment of Joint Commission between two Foreign Ministries. Gabonese side requested to open our resident mission in Libreville.
Vice President also had a joint meeting with the President of the National Assembly and President of Senate during which few members of Gabonese Parliament were also present. Both sides appreciated the leadership in upholding democratic values and traditions and agreed to have regular Parliamentary exchanges. Vice President addressed a Business Forum event in Gabon organized by CII, which led a 15 member delegation on an exploratory visit. HVPI also interacted with the small but vibrant Indian Community in Gabon.
Both sides appreciated the mutual support extended to each other’s candidatures at UN and other international fora. India and Gabon agreed to work closely as non-permanent members of UNSC on climate change, counter terrorism and reform of the UN. On our request for support to our candidature for President of IFAD for which elections will take place on 7 July 2022, Gabonese leadership indicated to give due consideration.
During the visit, Vice President announced a special training programme for a batch of 20 Gabonese diplomats at Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Services.
Before his departure from Libreville on June 01, Vice President visited Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ), where around 54 Indian companies are operating.